The “University of Maryland” portion signifies that we are part of the University System of Maryland. We’re pretty sure that’s clear, and we are proud to be part of one of the finest systems in the world. “University College” is an old British term which captures what we do: Take courses and programs from all academic departments and offer them outside of the university's walls and normal class times.
Today, while our name may not seem to make much sense when you first hear it, we are proud of the mission it signifies and what we have been doing for 65 years.
Proud Military Heritage
In 1947, we started offering classes throughout Maryland to meet the needs of people juggling family and work commitments. There was a flood of GIs returning from World War II who were committed to building a better life and a stronger nation through education. We took the lead in educating them. In 1949, at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, we became the first institution to send a team overseas to teach college classes to active-duty servicemembers. Since this first classroom on a military base in postwar Germany, our faculty has taught (or is still teaching) in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations. We go where we are needed, even if there is a war on.
UMUC remains a leading higher education provider to the U.S. military, enrolling 55,000 active-duty servicemembers, reservists, National Guard members, veterans and family members. We are proud of our military heritage and are committed to this service.
Setting the Standard for Long Distance Learning
In the 1990s, UMUC took the lead in transforming higher education by becoming the first university in the United States to offer online degree programs. We've opened the door for tens of thousands of students from all over the world—from working professionals to single mothers to military spouses—to pursue a college degree while maintaining their busy lives. Graduates of UMUC’s online programs hail from every state in the U.S. and from 28 countries.
UMUC’s numerous awards for outstanding achievements in distance learning recognize how successfully we have leveraged the potential of the Internet to become the “campus of the 21st century.” Our reputation as a global leader in online education is well-recognized.
Leading the Next Generation of Higher Education
Our innovation, dedication and commitment have paid off for students across the globe. Today, UMUC has the largest enrollment of any public university in the United States, serving more than 92,000 students at more than 150 locations worldwide and online.
University of Maryland University College is a mouthful, to be sure. But our name is supported by our 65 years of delivering quality education—under sometimes difficult circumstances—to students most in need of one. We are extremely proud of our name's significance and every day we endeavor to live up to its promise by continuing to explore innovative ways to expand educational opportunities for people who are already busy with other obligations, wherever they are in the world.
Learn more about UMUC.